Male doctor with stethoscope checks heart rate of female patient wearing headscarf

Although the United States has made major strides in cancer research, treatment, and outcomes, not all individuals have benefited from this success. Since its founding more than 50 years ago, ASCO has been committed to advancing health equity in cancer care. Read ASCO’s Statement on Addressing Racism in Oncology.

ASCO issued its Health Equity Policy Statement calling for bolder, more aggressive steps to achieve equity for all individuals with cancer. The ASCO statement serves as a blueprint for the Society’s activities to ensure that all patients, no matter who they are or where they live, can receive the highest quality cancer care.

ASCO invites all stakeholders in the cancer care community to work toward achieving health equity in cancer research and care. Below is a wide range of resources to help ASCO members and the larger cancer community better understand and address health equity issues in cancer care. Please continue to check back on this page for the latest updates on this initiative.

Get Involved!

Register now for the May 25 ASCO Virtual Roundtable “From Diagnosis to Treatment: Ensuring Equity in Precision Cancer Care.” Moderated by ASCO President Lori J. Pierce, MD, FASTRO, FASCO, join prominent voices in the oncology community for a discussion on the systemic and practice-level changes needed to improve equitable access to precision medicine advances. Limited space is available, register today!  

Achieving equity in cancer research and care will require all stakeholders in the cancer community to do their part. More opportunities to get involved are coming in the near future. Stay tuned!

Diversity in Oncology Workforce Initiative

Increasing the diversity of healthcare providers is essential to ensure high-quality cancer care is delivered to every person. ASCO has developed a range of educational programs, including mentoring and other educational initiatives, to get closer to an oncology workforce that reflects the demographics of the US population it serves. Learn more.

Policy and Position Statements

ASCO has developed an extensive portfolio of policy and position statements focused on equity in cancer care in research. Statements include:

Resources, Education & Outreach

ASCO has developed resources and participated in a variety of educational programs to help the cancer community better understand existing barriers to health equity and discuss opportunities to address them.  

Social Determinants of Health Series

The Social Determinants of Health Series was created by ASCO President Lori J. Pierce, MD, FASTRO, FASCO, current ASCO President, as part of a new ASCO Equity initiative that aims to increase oncologists’ understanding of social determinants of health (SDOH), bring awareness to the barriers to care that patients experience, and generate discussion on modifiable risk factors for cancer. Inspired by Dr. Pierce’s 2020-2021 presidential theme, “Equity: Every day. Every patient. Everywhere,” this series invites all members of the oncology community to access the information to increase familiarity with social determinants of health.

Episodes may be accessed via video or podcast. To learn more about this series or to suggest a topic for future episodes, please contact ASCO's Professional Development team.

Equity Cancer Research  

Below are recent studies, articles, and research initiatives focused on health equities in cancer care.

ASCO and Conquer Cancer would like to thank the below donors of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative.

AstraZeneca
Bristol Myers Squibb
Massachusetts Society of Clinical Oncologists
Northern New England Clinical Oncology Society
TAIHO Oncology, Inc.